Air One spots suspects in Fort Langley


Langley Mounties rounded up two suspected car thieves with help from the Air One helicopter and police tracking dogs early Friday morning.

It was in the hours just after midnight that a Langley RCMP officer on a routine patrol spotted a Honda Civic stopped on a quiet Walnut Grove Street, said Insp. Tim Shields, a regional duty officer.

The Civic had two doors open, and one man was standing next to it. The second man was ducked down inside another nearby parked car, allegedly attempting to steal it.

“When the two males saw the police they jumped into the Honda Civic and took off,” said Shields.

The officer on the scene tried to pull them over, but the Civic fled at high speed, heading east towards Fort Langley.

While the officer on the ground didn’t chase the car, the Air One police helicopter, which now flies out of the Langley Regional Airport, was called in to assist.

The Air One Tactical Flight Officer spotted the Civic and followed it using a thermal imaging camera, watching while it barrelled down Glover Road.

Shields said the Civic passed another car on a double solid yellow line, narrowly avoiding a head-on collision with an oncoming vehicle.

The driver of the Honda turned down a driveway on a rural street and the two men abandoned their car. They started running into a large farm property, apparently unaware they were being watched from the air.

More units, directed by the Air One officers, moved in on the ground, including a police dog handler and his three and a half year old German shepherd, Chad.

Chad and his handler quickly pursued the two men, and they caught up with and arrested one of the two suspects.

The second man tried to hide in the back of a pickup truck behind a farm house.

“Through the eye of the thermal imaging camera the male was glowing like a bright light against a black background,” said Shields. “There was nowhere he could hide.”

More ground units moved in and arrested the second man without incident.

The Civic the two were driving had been stolen from Surrey earlier on the night of APril 10, but not yet reported stolen, said Shields.

The driver, 35, was prohibited from being behind the wheel of any car. Both he and his 31-year-old passenger are “well known to police,” said Shields.

Charges of dangerous driving, flight from police, possession of stolen property, and attempted auto theft are being considered.

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